Street Smart (Summer 2022)

From the front...

Summer 2022 

Kia ora, 

As many of you know, I grew a “Wolverine” style beard this year and during November I mow-ed it off for men’s health month “Movember”. I am really pleased to have raised over $3,400 and when combined with the Abley team, we’ve raised over $5,200 so far. This was a jovial team effort which created much banter around our offices, but had a very serious underlying message.

My father was affected by mental health and committed suicide in 1973. I wasn’t even 14 months old. I know first-hand that the void that suicide leaves is sad and long-lasting. As part of the process of sharing my personal story, many men have reached out and shared their own stories of grief, which has been humbling. The money raised during Movember will bring awareness and hopefully, lead to better health outcomes. 

Your donation could help save the lives of dads, brothers, sons, cousins, nephews, uncles, and friends. Help the Abley team smash our Movember fundraising target!


On the work front, Abley continues to push frontiers and produce valuable work for many different industries and geographies. This newsletter includes a sample of that work, for which we are grateful to be working alongside inspiring clients.

I want to wish you, your family and your team a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As we head towards the holidays, enjoy the break and travel safe. I look forward to catching up in 2023. 

Meri Kirihimete! Our Abley offices close at 12.30pm on Thursday 22nd December and reopen on Monday 9th January 2023.  

Noho ora mai from all of us.

Steve Abley 
Chief Executive

Carbon Calculator for more sustainable cargo movement

Ports of Auckland want to optimise supply chains by reducing wastage and carbon emissions, whilst making it easier for customers to transact their cargo as a one-stop-shop.

Historically, the Ports of Auckland were import-dominant. Once import containers were unpacked, the empty containers were returned to the shipping line’s container depot. However, this led to a significant number of empty containers travelling around Aotearoa, via various modes of transport. To create a more balanced flow of imports and exports, Ports of Auckland built inland freight hubs where regional producers can refill empty containers with export cargo. For example, a container full of imports is sent from Auckland to the Waikato freight hub, then a full container is returned to Auckland, minimising trips and improving efficiency.

Abley developed a Supply Chain Carbon Calculator to help the customers of Ports of Auckland to identify the most efficient shipping route for their cargo. Launched in August 2022, the calculator shows different route options and calculates the carbon emissions for each route option. This carbon calculator is a New Zealand-first. It has garnered significant interest from across the shipping industry, including importers and exporters, transport companies, freight forwarders and shipping lines. Despite the complexity of the carbon calculations underpinning the application, our team is particularly proud that the calculator is easy to use and will help customers choose cost-effective and environmentally sustainable ways to move cargo.

Read the full case study on our website or contact Marco Poetsch for more information.

Ashburton streetscape renewal
Ashburton Town Centre, before transformation (left), and after transformation (right)

Ashburton Town Centre streets have been transformed

The Ashburton District Council engaged Abley to help them revitalise their town centre. The project is now complete and six streets in the core of the Ashburton town centre have been redeveloped, covering 1,600 metres of street length.

Abley developed the scheme designs for the streets in 2017, following on from an earlier Master Plan that had a key aim of creating a pedestrian friendly town centre. This design process involved developing and assessing street design options to ensure the intent of the Master Plan was achieved.  A key change was the conversion of two parallel streets from two-way, to one-way for one block. This enabled more street space to be allocated to people and landscaping. The designs included wider footpaths with defined accessible routes, raised pedestrian crossings, landscaped areas between parking bays, loading/coach stop arrangements, new cycle parking, a 30km/hour speed limit zone and intersection changes.  The design process also included a parking survey and a Parking Management Plan for the core area.

Following development of the scheme designs Abley assisted with the Council Hearing and provided input into the detailed design tender documents.

The street works are now complete, and they look fabulous. The project was recently highly commended at the 2022 Local Government Awards that celebrate the creation of special places.

Jeanette Ward was the Abley lead on this project.

Including commuting emissions in our Toitū CarbonReduce audit

We’re thrilled to have successfully passed our third Toitū CarbonReduce audit recently. After setting a five percent year-on-year emission reduction goal, based on absolute as well as relative to headcount and turnover, we continue to achieve our targets.

This year we decided to move the goalposts. After launching CarbonWise earlier this year, we knew it was critical to walk the talk with our own greenhouse gas emission reporting to include commuting emissions.

It has been a revealing experience! Commuting accounts for 12% of our annual greenhouse gas emissions. This is our third largest emission source, behind business travel (63.5%) and imported electricity consumption (13.5%).

Commuting emissions weren’t included in our base year audit figures, but for 2023 we will restate our audited emissions baseline to include commuting. We are pleased that even with the addition of commuting data, we are currently achieving our targets.

Abley has been measuring how our employees commute for several years now, but by using CarbonWise we’re now able to do it in a way that can be evidenced and easily reviewed by Toitū for audit purposes. Last year was an unusual year for commuting due to COVID19. We had a significant amount of time where employees worked from home and the extrapolations, which we would usually take from CarbonWise data, needed additional manipulation to account for the extended lockdown in Auckland.

It is interesting to note that emissions from employees working from home, combined with our commuting emissions, represent 17.5% of our emissions inventory, our second largest emissions source.

Currently Abley is one of only a few organisations that include commuting emissions in its audited emission inventories. Historically there has not been an accepted and standardised approach to capturing and measuring commuting emissions.

We’re happy to be transparent with our emissions data. We share monthly updates with employees and enable everyone to track their air travel and greenhouse gas contributions. But there is always more we can do to improve results and inspire positive behavioural change for commuting. We encourage all organisations to share their results, insights, and initiatives in this space, for education and continual improvement purposes. 

motorcycle safety

Raising safety outcomes for motorcycles in ASEAN countries

Over half of global road traffic fatalities (about 1.3 million fatalities) involve vulnerable road users. Mopeds and motorcycles make up over half of these vulnerable road user fatalities, the majority of which occur in low and middle income countries. 

While high income countries have developed guidance for addressing motorcycle crashes; most of this has focused on high-speed crashes and high-powered motorbikes. Less attention has been given to crash risk associated with mopeds and motorcycles in congested urban conditions, especially in low and middle income countries.         

In October 2022, Dr Shane Turner attended the Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory’s dialogue on motorcycles in Manila, Philippines. This included presentations and discussions on road safety measures and policy changes to target and achieve a 50 percent reduction in motorcycle deaths by 2030.  Attendees agreed that a workshop on motorcycle safety was well overdue given the high number of deaths in Asia, and especially in ASEAN countries. 

The dialogue looked at measures across the safe system pillars. Shane presented in a podium session and led the dialogue on safer roads for motorcycles, with a focus on knowledge gaps.  What was evident from this session is that there is limited knowledge on designing roads to accommodate these types of vehicles more safely.  Low and middle income countries need support from the wider road safety community to improve knowledge in this area by trialing and evaluating road design improvements for motorcycles. Contact Dr Shane Turner for more information.

Land Development team resource consent success

Abley’s land development team work closely with developers to prepare Transport Assessments that support resource consent, plan change and notification of requirement applications.

One of our recent successes was supporting Foodstuffs South Island Limited’s resource consent application to establish a PAK’nSAVE supermarket in Rolleston, on the outskirts of Christchurch. Abley is delighted that Foodstuffs’ application has recently been granted consent.

Rolleston is one of the fastest growing urban areas in New Zealand and the Rolleston PAK’nSAVE will be one of the largest supermarkets in New Zealand at around 8,000 sqm GFA, providing employment and shopping opportunities for Rolleston residents and reducing reliance on travel to Christchurch to visit existing larger supermarkets.  Abley prepared an Integrated Transport Assessment demonstrating the supermarket supports access by walking and cycling, connects well with public transport services and integrates with Council’s future infrastructure plans.  Specific design features include the provision of a shared path along the site frontage, pedestrian crossing facilities on both frontage roads, separating out customer and servicing requirements of the site to put safety first and including excellent pedestrian connectivity throughout the development. Abley continue to provide design support for Foodstuffs as they look to implement their consent.

Abley’s Land Development team members are based in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, which allows us to provide expert advice throughout New Zealand for land developers and councils. Contact our team if you would like to learn more about how we can help you with development applications.

Webinar, computer

Webinar: TomTom Traffic Analytics Tools

As TomTom data partners, Abley is excited to be able to demonstrate the differences between TomTom Real-Time and Historical Traffic data tools, share relevant use cases for this data and our knowledge of the tools, so you are ready to tackle your traffic challenges!

Our cities and towns are in a constant battle with traffic congestion. How can you better manage traffic within administrative boundaries and create a positive impact on regions? How can road operators ensure a safe and well-functioning road network? And how can you easily investigate the impact of speed and congestion interventions across your networks?

TomTom Traffic data holds an answer to all these questions – as well as key insights into a region’s economic health.

View our recent TomTom webinar presented by Jacob Pescini

Meet the team: Hamish Kingsbury

Hamish Kingsbury joined the Abley team in 2014 for a Callaghan Innovation internship whilst he was completing his Post Graduate Diploma in GIS at the University of Canterbury. He is now a Principal Integration Specialist in Abley’s Digital Engineering team.

Over the past eight years at Abley, Hamish has worked across a broad range of projects; from road safety, to emergency response, to systems and infrastructure, to environmental management. Much of this work focused on the use of Python and FME (Safe Software), which has led to Hamish gaining three FME certifications across Desktop, Server, and Training.

One of Hamish’s most rewarding projects to date was spending two years working with the North Canterbury Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Alliance. The NCTIR Alliance was established to rebuild road, rail, and associated infrastructure after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. In this role, Hamish was responsible for managing and overseeing the GIS infrastructure used by the Alliance.

Hamish enjoys working with clients to identify business problems and identify where and how improvements can be made. He enjoys the challenge of diving into these problems and developing an efficient solution for the client that meets their needs.

Outside of work, Hamish is involved in the sport of powerlifting, both as an athlete and Canterbury Powerlifting Association committee member. He is a frequent cyclist and makes use of the ever-increasing network of cycle lanes in Christchurch for his commute to the office.

Feel free to reach out to Hamish if you want to have a chat about FME, any business data issues you have or perhaps even powerlifting!

New starters add valuable skills and experience to our growing team

Cath Jacobs

Cath Jacobs (Senior Engagement Specialist) joins our Wellington team, with 14 years’ experience in stakeholder mapping and engagement, communications, event management, business development and project management, working in Singapore, Hong Kong, UK and NZ. In Cath’s spare time, she enjoys karaoke and loves Korean food.

Meghan James

Meghan James (Senior Transportation Planner) recently moved to Wellington, NZ from the UK. Meghan brings six years’ experience in transport planning, transport modelling, network studies, business cases, and stakeholder engagement. Meghan enjoys pottery and crafts, baking, hiking and playing the guitar.


Joe Corbett-Davies (Transportation Planner) joins our Christchurch team from Trimble. After studying Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering, Joe completed an internship at Tesla in California where he built analysis tools to validate inertial navigation software. Joe’s knowledge includes econometrics, data analysis, mathematical/numerical modelling. Joe enjoys music and volleyball, and he has recently become a dad.


Regan Toogood (Graduate Transportation Modeller) has just completed a Bachelor of Science at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha/University of Canterbury. Regan’s skills include mathematical modelling, analytical and numerical methods. Outside of work, he enjoys football, baking sourdough bread and is a semi-retired bagpiper.

Lizzie Garside

Lizzie Garside (Graduate Transportation Engineer) moved to Christchurch from the UK and graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 2020. Lizzie has been working on conceptual design, analysis and improvement of products, but her passion for sustainable transport and engineering optimisation has drawn her to Abley. Lizzie loves the outdoors, baking, sewing and spending time with her dog.

Christina Lucas (UX Designer) recently moved to Christchurch from Toronto (Canada) and joins Abley on a fixed term (maternity cover) contract. Since completing her studies, Christina has enjoyed putting her learning into practice, to understand people and problems, alongside being creative. Christina enjoys painting, tennis, sewing, reading and plays the bagpipes.


Grace Kuru (Graduate GIS Analyst) is a recent graduate from Te Herenga Waka/Victoria University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science. Grace previously worked at CityCare, and her knowledge includes ArcGIS enterprise, QGIS, R studios, Agisoft, and ENVI. She is also a keen netball player.

Taylor Binnie

Taylor Binnie (Summer Intern) is in her third year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha/University of Canterbury and joins our team in Christchurch. Taylor is motivated to solve complex, real-world problems and has an interest in the environment, sustainable innovative infrastructure and road safety.

Ollie Markwell (Summer Intern) is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Physics at the University of Canterbury and joins our team in Auckland. Ollie will be working on the Callaghan Innovation funded project “Evaluating methods to understand crash risk”, looking at how road controlling authorities are combating the critical road safety goal of reducing death and serious injury collisions.

Georgia van Vuuren (Summer Intern) is currently completing a Master of Health Psychology at the University of Auckland and joins our team in Auckland. Georgia is working on the Callaghan Innovation funded project “CarbonWise: Incentivising sustainable travel”. This R&D project is looking to understand the impact of incentivisation on behaviour change.

abley on bikes

Join our team

We are always on the hunt for talented professionals to join our award-winning team. Keep an eye on our careers page for our current vacancies.

We are currently looking for a: 

Road Safety Transportation Specialist

People, Talent and Performance Manager